Friday, May 31, 2013

Moments like these




It's moments like these that make long grey days bearable and motherhood sweeter.
 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Frogs in her pockets

 
While I was on my cruise I started reading a book called "Last Child in the Woods" by Richard Louv. It is tremendously insightful  and makes me thankful that my parents encouraged my siblings and I to play outdoors. I remember spending hours jumping from one log to the next while my parents cut and stacked firewood in the mountains, camping for weeks at a time at the lake, rescuing frog eggs from vanishing puddles and raising the tadpoles in our greenhouse. I remember cutting trails in the forest behind our house with a machete, building rafts, beach combing, scaling cliffs with my sister in our bare feet, racing my siblings up our favorite waterfall, making forts and being armed with pocket knives in case we had an encounter with a bear or cougar. I  guess I have always assumed that all children grew up spending the majority of their childhood outdoors. Apparently that is NOT the case.
 
Another of the reasons that I love this book is that it makes me feel as though I am doing something right as a parent. I may not always be patient, or enjoy "playing" with my children, but I am good at taking them on forest trails, collecting caterpillars, digging worms out of the garden and helping the girls feed them to  their "pet" bullfrogs. We hold spiders, make forts, explore waterfalls, go camping, and turn over logs. Amelia is a fearless snake catcher and thinks that salamanders are just as awesome as chocolate. (And she LOVES chocolate like her momma).
 
I love that my children are confident on uneven ground, can balance on logs, and climb up rocks. I love watching their little bodies absorb the sounds and smells outdoors.....watching them fill their little chubby fists with wildflowers, their pockets with rocks, marveling at pretty beetles, and tossing rocks into a clean stream. Their bodies seem more relaxed, peaceful and tuned in then they do when they are trapped in the house for hours on end.  I love watching Claire make signs for the all the things she sees but can't say. She flaps her arms to say bird, pants to say puppy and swallows to say frog. Most of the time she just pats my leg incessantly and says "OHH, OHH"!
 
 


 


 

Decor ramblings....

Well, I think my children have finally succumbed to sleep... (it's 9:10) and I have given up all hope of working out this evening. My husband is sound asleep on the couch and I am munching on almonds.... breaking my rule about not eating after 7:30. I have been caught up in a whirlwind of creativity the past week and I feel like my feet are just beginning to  touch the ground. I am always astonished at how quickly my house falls apart when I am absorbed in other things. Let's see, I finally stenciled a wall in our master bedroom , painted a pedestal table, an antique chair, a rattan couch, a coffee table and starting scrubbing the dirt off  numerous other pieces of furniture in the garage. I have attempted to sew a pillow (but didn't due to tension issues), made a couple of birthday cards (which I have yet to send out). I re-arranged my bedroom, finally decided on a color scheme for the girls room after finding some FABULOUS pillows at Target. They remind me of Guatemalan loom cloth and are exactly what I have been looking forward. They will be the jumping off point for the remainder of the room. Holly, (my design girlfriend), knows exactly what I am taking about. I miss our lengthy conversations about home d├ęcor.
 
There is an incredible store in Nanaimo called Patina Home that sells Annie Sloan paint and they recently started renting out Royal Design Studio stencils. They create a look that resembles high end wallpaper. Anyways, I rented two stencils for less than a song and a dance and I have been having a ton of fun with one called "Springtime in Paris".
 
Here is a little sneak peek...........
 

Hopefully I will have some more photos for you in the next couple of days. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Reflecting....


It's hard to believe that I have been home for more than a week now. My blissful three day cruise from L.A.to Vancouver is now a sweet but distant memory. It was a such a treat and something I will treasure for a long time. Spending time with my family in that context was incredibly relaxing and satisfying. No dishes, no mess, no schedule.... just pure fun.

 Each day I would settle into a cozy chair in the piazza, a large beautiful area at the center of the ship, and enjoy something from the "international cafe". There was always a cellist, pianist, or group or talented musicians playing classical instruments. I would journal and nibble on something delicious from the "International Cafe" (ie: cheesecake, pecans, figs, muesli, taramisu). It become our family's meeting place and we loved spending time there. We hardly cared that it was overcast and chilly for the duration of our time as there was so much to do. I saw my first live comedy show and nearly peed my pants. There was also a very talented group of dancers  that put on spectacular shows.

Our family played Dutch Blitz together, shared long leisurely meals, marinated in the hot tubs with the cold Pacific wind in our hair, attended a "high tea", shared desserts, warmed our bellies with cafe mocha's and watched a movie under the stars while enjoying cookies and milk. I dragged my sister to the gym in the morning so that I didn't have to suffer alone and pulled her onto dance floor at night. We changed our outfits multiple times each day, much to the amusement of our parents, and took a Latin dance class together (the Cha Cha Cha). I haven't done that dance since I took a Latin Dance course with  a roommate in University. I forgot how much FUN it was. Perhaps Nathaniel and I should go Latin dancing on our next date

The food, OH THE FOOD. It was amazing!  My sister and I diligently photographed each and every one of our meals. They were all so pretty.  I enjoyed my fair share of delicious food but a few of my favorites were grilled salmon with herbed butter, escargot, beef wellington, prime rib and an incredible gourmet salad. The desserts were equally mouthwatering.





 Well, now that I have left your saliva glands working overtime, I will wrap this up. If you would like to see some more photos from my trip you will find them on my face book page. Enjoy!







 




 
 
 




















 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I'm leaving on a jet plane....



In a matter of hours I will be boarding a ferry and heading to the mainland. A month ago my mother offered to take my sister and I on a trip. We both jumped at the opportunity and I crossed my fingers and sent my passport in for renewal. Nathaniel was able to get the time off and is looking forward to spending time quality time with the girls. (He just got back from a nine day trek across Canada with his brother). My bags are packed and I am ready to go. I won't even tell you how many pairs of shoes I am bringing and I fully intend to live in skirts and dresses the entire time. Only having to pack for one person (me) is rather thrilling. That being said, my suitcase is filled with chocolate, high heels, paper, books, camera and my bathing suit. I will finally have the opportunity to wear all of the clothing that has been languishing in my closet for years. I am even bringing along two of my favorite bridesmaids dresses for the formal sit down meals.

Adios!


 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Dusk

"Now comes at Night's behest,
A glow that over all the forest spills,
As with the gold of promised daffodils.
Of all hours this is best".....
- excerpt of a poem by C.J. Dennis called "Dusk"
 




 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A few good things...

 
I picked a fresh bouquet of lilacs today. Their aroma is intoxicating and fills my home with the smell of SPRING!
 

 This was my breakfast this morning. I haven't eaten a mango cut like this, since Nathaniel and I traveled across Tanzania.
 
 
The weather has been amazing and the girls and I have been spending every possible moment outdoors. The girls have been sleeping like rocks and bedtime has been a breeze. Hurray for utter exhaustion!


I enjoyed this mouthwatering salad for dinner tonight. Organic greens, steamed broccoli, Swiss cheese, sweet orange bell peppers, and sliced corden blue chicken. YUMMY.


Had fun shopping with Claire at Micheal's. I really wanted to buy a few necklaces but instead I talked myself into purchasing some plain chain so that I could make a few with the pendants I already own.  
 

 
This, my friends, is a Columbine flower on the cusp of blooming and I am SO excited that it survived being dug up and transplanted.
 
 
I captured this sweet moment yesterday. Since the girls and I have started borrowing piles of new books from the regional public library, they have been spending a lot more time looking at books together. It has made storey time a lot more enjoyable for me as well. Perhaps one of them will become a bookworm yet!
 
 
Said ADIOS to this soother. Claire is quite upset about the fact that it is "broken" but I am happy that I finally had the guts to chop it in half.